As an elite institution with a strong focus on the sciences, UR produces research that often warrants coverage in major news publications, including The New York Times and the local Democrat & Chronicle. The articles that appear in such publications are a source of pride for students, faculty, staff and alumni. UR’s current system for alerting the campus community to when the University is covered in the media, however, does not do these honorable mentions full justice.
Each month, UR Communications sends out an email entitled “Select Major News Coverage,” which compiles and presents stories from major media outlets that reference UR in some capacity. While these stories range in appeal, they are all newsworthy and cover a broad spectrum of disciplines, making them relevant to nearly everyone at UR. This month’s selection included topics ranging from neutrino research to the psychology of homophobia.
Nonetheless, by the time this email goes out, many of the stories are so dated that they have become irrelevant. Stories, such as The New York Times op-ed on Kodak’s demise on Feb. 2, lose their relevance when read a full month after the topic of the article occurred.
It seems, therefore, that a more pertinent tactic would be to send out these emails more frequently and highlight only the most recent and most important references to UR. This would make the monthly email less daunting and would ensure that those who are interested can read these stories while the news is still timely.
To keep this communication from glutting the inboxes of the UR community, they could be sent out strategically — perhaps three to five times per month — showcasing a select few recent stories and directing readers to the newsletter’s website where the remaining less timely or less important stories could be posted. Since the website already stands as a conglomeration of these articles, there is no specific reason that an email is necessary beyond its purpose of bringing certain stories to the limelight — something which could easily be done with more strategic and frequent emails.